May 20, 2015
Association Highlights
GCs and Subs Gather to Honor Awardees at AGC Past Presidents' & Awards Night
See all the Event Photos in our Gallery
Last Tuesday, on May 12th, a crowd of 150 people from many of Milwaukee's General Contractors and Subcontractors gathered and mingled in the Grand Ball Room of the Wisconsin Club, enjoying one another's company before the dinner and ceremonies took place.  Of these attendees, over 60 were representing the General Contractors of the AGC.  This event is where we take the time to acknowledge those companies that put a premium on the safety of their workers, and serving the industry and community in the Greater Milwaukee area.  You can see all the photos from the event Here.

After dinner and dessert, the program began.  We recognized  the companies which are leading the way in Safety, graduates of the Supervisory Training Program, and individuals outstanding in their field.  The awards went to:
Leadership in Safety Award – Cornerstone Plumbing, LLC; J.F. Ahern Co.; Langer Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc.; Olympic Companies, Inc.; Opus Design Build, LLC; SRS Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.; Superior Masonry Builders, Inc.; Wolf Paving Co., Inc.
President’s Safety Excellence Award-Under 50,000 Hours – Creative Constructors LLC; Kotze Construction Co., Inc.; Stier Construction Inc.; Lighthouse Safety, LLC; Softer Lite Window Company
President’s Safety Excellence Award-50,000 to 100,000 Hours – J.H. Hassinger, Inc.; Munson, Inc.; State Painting Co.; Summit Refrigeration Group, Inc.
President’s Safety Excellence Award-100,000 to 300,000 Hours – Hunzinger Construction; KMI Construction, LLC; Thatcher Foundations Inc.
President’s Safety Excellence Award-Over 300,000 Hours – C.G. Schmidt, Inc.; J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc.; J.M. Brennan, Inc.
STP Graduates – Andrew Stevens, J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc.; Jamie Zudonyi, J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc.
Committee Chairman of the Year - Doug Carlson, KBS Construction Inc.
Gil Czaplewski Superintendent of the Year - Dennis Hanke, Reichl Construction Inc.
Associate Member of the Year - Robert Bartel, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Harvey Peterson Safety Award - Mel Langlais, Mortenson Construction 
AGC Pioneer Award - Larry Rocole, J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc.
S.I.R. Award (Skill, Integrity, Responsibility) - Matt Bratzke, Opus Design Build LLC
This year, AGC of Greater Milwaukee decided to give out an honor which is distributed very rarely to ensure it is held in the highest regard - The Lifetime Achievement Award.   This prestigious award went to recently-retired Gary Jorgensen for his many years of dedicated service at VJS Construction Services, as well as with the AGC and the Greater Milwaukee construction industry.  We couldn't think of a more deserving individual!
Congratulations to all of you!  Additionally, we'd like to thank all of the sponsors who made this evening possible.  Our sponsors are a vital part of the evenings success!  Many thanks to you all!
C.G. Schmidt, Inc.
J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Mortenson Construction
Aon Risk Solutions
Langer Roofing & Sheet Metal  Inc.
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AGC Launches NEW Streamlined STP Program
Less Time... More Content... Better Value!
AGC of America has revised the Supervisory Training Program (STP) updating the course materials and streamlining the curriculum content.  The changes include compressing the program from ten units down to six units, reducing the number of classroom hours.  These new course materials are available as e-book.  We understand that some individuals will have a mix of old and new courses.  We have created a path matrix in order for individuals to be clear on how they can earn their course completion certificate.  Any questions please contact Kim Jalalian at or (414) 778-4100.
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Don't Miss These Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Deadlines this Friday!
Get your registrations in by May 22nd!
Our next event is quickly approaching!  Gilbane Construction Company will be hosting the CLC on a tour of the ProHealth Cancer Center.  Registration will be closing a little earlier than usual due to the holiday weekend, so please make sure to have them in by Friday, May 22nd! 
Also closing that day will be the Early Bird Sponsorships for the CLC's 12th Annual Golf Outing.  Companies whose sponsorships are received by May 22nd will be recognized on the Invitations which will be going out to over 500 contacts.  If you aren't able to make that deadline, don't worry, sponsorships will still be open until June 17th. 
Thank you to all of our current sponsors!
CG Schmidt, Inc.
Common Links Construction LLC
Cornerstone Plumbing, LLC
FJA Chriatiansen Roofing Co., Inc.
Hallman Lindsay Quality Paints
InPro Corporation
Jens Construction
JF Ahern Co.
LaForce Inc.
Langer Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc.
Midwest Drilled Foundations & Engineering, Inc.
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Next Electric, Inc.
Professional Service Industries, Inc.
Sherwin Williams
VJS Construction Services
Wall-Tech Inc.
We are pleased to be co-hosting this event with the Painting & Decorating Contractors of America's Wisconsin Unit.  We appreciate your joining forces with us, and look forward to seeing some new faces and meeting new people!
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In the News
CG Schmidt Wins Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award!
We are proud to recognize and congratulate CG Schmidt on receiving the prestigious Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award!  They received the Grand Award for large companies in the Statewide contest. The banquet ceremony was held at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison. Nine out of 30 nominees were chosen as honorees. 
CG Schmidt, Inc. has been a family owned company since 1920!   Again, congratulations!
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Industry’s Unemployment Rate Drops To 14-Year Low
Construction firms added 45,000 jobs in April and 280,000 over 12 months, as the sector's unemployment rate fell to a nine-year April low of 7.5 percent, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that even as the industry continues to expand, growth has been erratic and inconsistent.
“Construction employment resumed strong growth in April after slipping in March and is now growing at more than double the growth rate for total nonfarm employment,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “Nevertheless, job growth remains spotty with the nonresidential building sector losing jobs even as other construction sectors expanded.” Read complete press release here
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Greenfield Project Near I-894 to have Almost 400 Apartments, Significant Retail
Cobalt Partners on Thursday released more detailed plans for its large mixed-use project near Interstate 894 in Greenfield that calls for 240,000 square feet of retail, hotel and almost 400 housing units.
The 50-acre project site is between I-894 and West Layton Avenue at South 84th Street. Milwaukee-based Cobalt Partners is working closely with the city on the site, which will include the Greenfield’s former Chapman School property. Greenfield officials rezoned the property in April for the project.
The Thursday announcement brings more detail on the estimated $114 million redevelopment, which is envisioned as a mixed-use neighborhood similar to Drexel Town Square in Oak Creek and Cobalt Partners’ Costco-anchored White Stone Station in Menomonee Falls. Milwaukee-based Rinka Chung Architecture Inc. is a designer on all three of those projects.
"We've seen good success in Menomonee Falls and have been bullish on suburban mixed-use development," said Scott Yauck, Cobalt Partners president and CEO.
Pending approvals, work could begin in fall to prepare the site for the development, and new buildings could be under construction in spring 2016. The site plan would concentrate 396 apartments in nine buildings at the southwest corner, near 92nd Street and Layton Ave. Each building could be up to four stories tall. Yauck said the number of apartments is subject to change, based on response from neighborhoods to the west and south.
The apartments would start in spring 2016 and be phased in over up to five years, Yauck said.
There would be several retail buildings. Cobalt Partners has a deal with Steinhafels to demolish its store on the property and build a new 55,000-square-foot location there starting in spring. The new store will be on the site's northeast corner, close to I-894 and 84th Street.
Also on the north end of the site, Yauck plans a 120,000-square-foot retail building for mid-sized retailers, each occupying 10,000 to 40,000 square feet. On the remaining frontage along 84th and Layton Avenue, there are up to seven outlots that could become an up to four-story, 120-room hotel and stand-alone stores and restaurants. Those outlot sites will likely take two to four years to build out, Yauck said.
Cobalt hired Mid-America Real Estate Group to market the site to other retailers. Yauck said he must secure tenants before starting construction on the large, 120,000-square-foot retail building. He expects to line up retailers before the planned construction start in spring 2016.
There also is room for office space and a fitness center between the apartments and retail buildings. Each could have up to 50,000 square feet in two buildings, Yauck said.
Yauck is working with Greenfield officials on a detailed development agreement that will include city support through a tax incremental financing agreement. That could pay for the cost of assembling the property for the project, and infrastructure, he said. The infrastructure work could include widening the east-bound off ramp from I-894 onto 84th Street to accommodate increased traffic for the project, he said.
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Plans for Mackie Building Restoration, Conversion into Downtown Apartments
Milwaukee developer Joshua Jeffers is seeking $900,000 in city financing to build apartments in the historic Mackie Building, a first step of an initiative to also bring a new neighboring mixed-use building and revitalization of the surrounding downtown Milwaukee neighborhood.
Jeffers plans to start construction this fall to build 25 high-end apartments in the mostly vacant office space of the Mackie building at North Broadway and East Michigan Street. The project will restore the building’s exterior and preserve its Grain Exchange Room, run by The Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee. Exterior restoration, including putting a functional clock in the bell tower, will be done in 2016, he said.
“The original bell is actually still up there — a 2,000-pound bronze bell that is stamped ‘1880,’” Jeffers said.
The project will cost about $12.4 million, but requires public subsidy because the fully renovated building will only be worth around $9 million, Jeffers said. The city this month will consider giving Jeffers $900,000 through a tax incremental financing district to help cover that gap.
That district lets Jeffers, over the course of several years, recoup his property tax payments in order to pay off project costs. Jeffers also secured $2 million in state and federal historic restoration tax credits for the development.
After the Mackie, Jeffers plans a new building with retail, parking and apartments in the parking lot to the south. That structure, which would stand as tall as the Mackie Building’s clock tower, would have at least 14,000 square feet of first-floor retail space, 300 to 400 parking spaces and 50 to 75 apartments, he said. Jeffers aims for a late 2016 or early 2017 start on the new building.
However, like the restoration of the Mackie building, that parking structure will likely require city support, Jeffers said. There are discussions of having the city or an affiliate own the parking structure component of the building, he said. The same model was used when the city helped finance a parking structure for the Cathedral Place office building downtown.
“Unfortunately, building structured parking is not something that is economically feasible,” Jeffers said. “The maxim we’ve been operating by is that we have to have enough parking in that deck to provide parking for a number of underutilized, historic downtown buildings.”
That area of downtown has several historic buildings without their own interior parking, which can make it more challenging to find tenants. Jeffers’ spaces would be aimed toward them.
That parking structure would provide spaces for the envisioned restoration of the Button Block building, for example. That seven-story, red brick building is on the same block as the Mackie Building. Bear Development, Kenosha, bought the Button Block in March 2014, and has not yet announced specific redevelopment plans.
Jeffers is limiting the height of the new building to respect his neighboring historic properties, so more parking spaces will mean fewer apartments, or vice-versa.
“We’re basically balancing new parking stalls with the number of new apartments,” Jeffers said.
Jeffers’ projects will reinvigorate one downtown Milwaukee block, but he and other stakeholders want to inject more life into that entire section of downtown, which is distinct for its numerous historic buildings. The area stretches roughly between Water Street and Milwaukee streets, and Clybourn and Wisconsin avenues. Recent developments there include the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown and Hilton Garden Inn, which opened in a historic building opposite the Mackie.
In addition to private projects, the downtown streetcar will run through the district starting in summer 2018. City renderings for the streetcar project show a high-rise building on the site where Jeffers plans his new mixed-use structure.
“Another huge part of all of this is the streetcar,” Jeffers said.
Ideas include rebranding the area, and leveraging city spending to build distinctive sidewalk amenities and street lights to brand the area as its own historic district, Jeffers said. The Milwaukee Downtown Business Improvement District No. 21 has been involved in some of those preliminary talks.
“We’ve all been kind of collectively working on this idea of rebranding that area of downtown as the downtown historic district,” Jeffers said.
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AGC-GM Education
Upcoming Trainings from The Knowledge Source
Qualified Crane Signalperson Training
May 20th, 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
For full details on this program, Click Here
Crane Rigging Training
May 21st, 4 pm to 8 pm
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In This Issue
Association Highlights
GCs and Subs Gather to Honor Awardees at AGC Past Presidents' & Awards Night
AGC Launches NEW Streamlined STP Program
Don't Miss These Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Deadlines this Friday!
In the News
CG Schmidt Wins Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award!
Industry’s Unemployment Rate Drops To 14-Year Low
Greenfield Project Near I-894 to have Almost 400 Apartments, Significant Retail
Plans for Mackie Building Restoration, Conversion into Downtown Apartments
AGC-GM Education
Upcoming Trainings from The Knowledge Source
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